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Family meal at Infinity Manor

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Postby Madeira Craven on June 5th, 2019, 7:30 pm

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60th of Summer, 519



All houses settle. In the morning they creak like old men as Syna thaws their frosted bones, sigh as cold air escapes through the flue in grumpy huffs and complain through the moans that rise from the floors and vibrate along the walls. Even the Infinity Manor was not immune to such early morning noises, Madeira had to realize as she padded barefoot around the kitchen. But that was okay, it was just the house settling. For whatever it could get.

"You may help, but I will not let you cook" the Spiritist put her metaphorical foot down as she kicked the belly of the stove closed with a bang. "You don't even eat!"

A womph of hot air and a puff of sparks shot up through the stove's iron grating as the colony of spiders that had made their cottony home inside went up in flames. The hardened Spiritist hoped on the spot in fright and cursed lustily, beating bare handed a few stray sparks from the front of her pink silk nightdress and the hair that hung tightly braided over her shoulder. Behind her the rhythmic popping of the warming window panes sounded almost like laughter.

It was the fourth bell, and time for the dawn rest. The nature of Lhavit, with its three hour days and mid day naps, made keeping a schedule impossible. Which was just how the former Avalad liked it. She had returned not twenty chimes ago from a night class with her private pupil. It had gone well, and now hungry and full of misplaced confidence she was ready to try to cook her ragtag family a meal for the first time. Afterwards she would climb up to bed and sleep away the morning. Though she wasn't sure if the twins were up, or if Lani, Allister or Jomi were even home; she promised herself she was going to cook a meal for them so that's exactly what she was going to do. Maybe the wafting scent of this delicious food she was about to serve would summon the living like her soulmist summoned ghosts.

"What? No. I don't suppose we'll ever eat the chickens. You and Jomi are too attached." Madeira addressed the empty air as she verbally answered the house's silent question. "Eggs would be nice, though. How about omelettes and salad? That seems... doable. Maybe some toast as well. There's honey somewhere. And sausages."

Still muttering half to herself and half to the house, Madeira pushed aside the bundle of drying bones and a jar of congealing blood to reach the back of the pantry for a rope of garlic and a wrapped stick of butter. From the ice chest she grabbed a leafy head of only slightly wilted spinach, carrots, peppers and green beans. Then bundling all this onto the counter surface, she ducked underneath to reach into the root cupboard. Only after a confused chime surface with messy handfuls of potatoes and onions, each of them already diced. Madeira paused, staring into her hands as pieces of potato rolled around the floor.

"Thank you?"

The house hummed its self-satisfied contentment.

There used to be a time when such things as cooking was left to servants, back when she lived in the Craven manor. Madeira found herself missing those times as she struggled to peel and dice the garlic. Even as early as a season ago she was still able to keep most of her family fed without such fuss. Back then she had the breast milk, soulmist and dijed produced from her body that was sufficient for eighty percent of everyone who was under (or indeed was) her roof. But that wasn't enough anymore, and now an entire new set of skills had to be learned just to keep everyone healthy.

Throwing a heavy cast iron pan onto the heated stove, she dropped in a slice of butter and a load of garlic and patted herself on the back. Now she was cooking! This wasn't so hard.
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Postby Zach Grasswind on June 7th, 2019, 9:59 am

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Zach enjoyed being up early. Even in Lhavit, where early and late were merely ideas and not societal norms, the dawn always felt different. The Drykas had grown to appreciate Syna’s light in a completely different way since being in the city. On the plains it was bright and golden, and meant exhilarating horseback charges across the endless grass. Here it was soft and glittering, even under the trees and it always pulled him inwards to his own thoughts.

Today was not a hunting day, however that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to be up and appreciating the morning. Zach had a few things he had been meaning to do, and the first was to make a delivery. The Drykas made his meandering way across the Zintillia Peak, soft leather boots tapping on the pathways. As usual he was clad in a simple green shirt and brown trousers, and at his side he carried a small pouch. One of the items in the pouch was a small bundle of feathers tied up with a leather cord.

His mind wandered as he walked, thinking on his destination and the people who lived there. The previous season had bought new acquaintances into his life and it had been something akin to a whirlwind ever since. Madeira and her two Kelvic children had certainly added some much needed spark into his otherwise mundane existence.

His destination soon made itself apparent. The building was quite magnificent, and he knew he was at the right place as soon as he laid eyes on it. Zach had heard people talk about the Infinity Manor before, though the place appeared to have changed since talk of it had last reached his ears. Perhaps Madeira had been working on it to make it more suitable for her new family.

Zach wound his way along the path to the front door, smiling at the Okomo door knocker. He wondered if it had always been there, or if it had been installed after Moritz had made an appearance. The hunter paused as his eyes fell on the plaque below the knocker.
Don’t mind the ghosts
they live here too


He knew that Madeira worked with the dead, so he supposed that was not an entirely out of the ordinary sign for the house to have. He briefly wondered if it was being literal before his gaze dropped to the second plaque.
Stop stepping on the flowers
you're upsetting the house


That one got a raised eyebrow, for it was surely put up for fun. Zach smiled to himself before gripping the knocker and rapping twice on the large, opulent door. He took a single step back to wait, wondering who might be home. The hunter knew that there were other members of Madeira’s family he had yet to meet, but the house sounded quiet as he stood on the step. If he concentrated, he thought he could smell garlic, but where it was coming from he couldn’t be sure. Zach let his eyes wander over the lawns and flowers that dotted the green as he wondered who he would see on the other side of the door.
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Postby Moritz Craven on June 11th, 2019, 10:55 pm

60 Summer 519


Moritz was growing. Each day he got bigger, delighting in his new stature. Still he was small compared to the adults about him, the big people, but soon he knew he would catch up. In truth for someone of his age, or even the age he appeared in his human form, he was large for his size. Large and skinny like he had been stretched, but not gaunt.

Looking up at the ceiling of the room he was sitting in with his legs crossed on the floor, Moritz smiled and waved. "I bigger howse! Juss like you!" He was growing, just like it seemed the house was growing. At least, when Moritz was not looking. He had yet to actually see it grow. But then, deeply for his age, he pondered that he had never noticed himself grow until after the fact. Maybe no one grew when being watched, and only in the in between moments?

Even since earlier in the season his speech had improved dramatically, in keeping with his newly apparent physical age. Now he was starting to work on half formed sentences, instead of chopped off words and pointed statements.

He looked at the moment to an outside observer to be around two and a half years old, perhaps a bit older, though in truth he had been born only the season before.

Naked as the day he was born, Moritz suddenly decided to go for a run. Leaping up from the spot on the floor, he raced out of the room and its open door to head towards the stairs. Tiring just before he reached the circling metal monolith, Moritz slowed and came to a halt just before the first step. Then he hopped like a rabbit and landed on the first step down.

Another hop after a pause to catch his breath, and down another step. And so on, till he had made it down the stairs. Thump. Thump. Thump, as his bare feet landed on each step. Not equally spaced out thumps mind you, as Moritz would pause to catch his breath for varying amounts of time between each jump. So in truth more of a thump... Thump, thump........ Thump... Thump, thump, and so on.

He had lost interest in being a rabbit before he made it down the steps to the ground floor, it being more difficult than he had thought, but with a surge of determination he refused to quite his game that he had imposed on himself until he landed on the ground.

Once he was on the ground he let his feet rest for a few moments, then he swayed and then darted off with a run in the opposite direction of his swaying. That had just been to throw "them" off, a subtle trick likely lost on anyone else seeing as no one but the house was about or watching. But to Moritz it was a rather serious matter, whomever "them" was.

Feet padding on the ground, Moritz headed outward and paused when he smelled something. Something on the air. Something burning? Something... Being? He was not sure. Not sure if he liked the smell, if it was a good smell. Not sure if he did not like the smell, a bad smell. It was just a smell, one he had not passed judgement on.

He was about to investigate the smell when he heard someone knock at the front door. And then he was off, racing towards the front door with his feet slapping the ground as he went.

He saw his mother for a moment, but kept going, determined to make it to the door first. Once there he paused, considering, and then leaped up and opened the door with a grab and pull and turn and twist.

The door popped loose, and landing on the ground Moritz grabbed the side of the door and pulled it open. There he was faced with another big person, who he eyed in consideration.

Asking a question, as if continuing a half forgotten conversation, Moritz simply said "Wuht smell?"

Giving the man a moment to answer, Moritz would then tilt back his head and yell, not in distress but as a child tended to do when getting someones attention.

"Mom! Purse-on!"
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Postby Amelie Craven on June 12th, 2019, 6:20 pm

Amelie Craven


Amelie had been fast asleep on her bed in fox form when Moritz’ thumping down the stairs had woken her, white ears twitching each time the noise of her brother’s jumps reached them. He was so full of energy, so much so that even she couldn’t keep up sometimes and he seemed to only be getting worse as time went on. It wasn’t a problem really, honestly, she was more jealous than anything.

Officially awake now, Amelie used her heightened hearing to follow Moritz’ movements step by step, sounding as if he’d stumbled for a second before dashing off towards the front door at the sound of the knock, forcing Amelie to jump to her paws and scramble off of the bed into the hall and towards the stairs, making an urgent yelping noise in hopes of stopping Moritz before he got himself in trouble.

If she could speak in fox form she’d be yelling for him to stop because mom had told them not to answer the door unless someone older was with them, not that Moritz ever listened anyway.

Reaching the stairs, Amelie stopped for a moment to examine them wearily, while Moritz had a tougher time going down in human form, she struggled with the opposite, her longer human legs making the task a lot easier. She contemplated changing for barely a tick before ultimately deciding to rush down step by step, front paws first then back paws.

Unfortunately, by the time she’d reached the bottom step, Moritz was already opening the door, despite a few more urgent yelps from her. Now they’d both be in trouble. But all worries of the consequences of her brother’s behaviour disappeared once she saw the man standing in the doorway, her yelps changing from urgent to excited. It was Uncle Zach!

Running up beside Moritz, Amelie hopped happily, thick white fluffy tail waving back and forth. They hadn’t seen the man often she liked him regardless, even if Moritz had met him first.

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Postby Lani Stranger on June 13th, 2019, 12:36 am

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Lani had hear the thump thump thumping from her open door as she tried to peruse through her ‘Graces and Prayers’ book, looking for the cute little poem about waterfalls that has been stuck in her mind all day. Moritz was awake.

Swinging her feet off of her unmade bed, Lani wiggled in the loose waist band of her belt up for a tick, making a mental note that she would have to punch a new hole into the leather at some point. The black-eyed woman then slunk towards her door, poking her dark head out into the spiral staircase to see the little goat thudding down the thick wooden steps. The little boy apparently only had enough energy for a few hops before his little chubby legs tired and carried him the rest of the way like any normal pi-bedal creature. Lani couldn’t help but grin at the foolish childhood joy. They were so pure, and so stupid, unaware of how the world saw their actions, or at least not caring. She envied them.

His sister, on the other hand, was taller and only seemed slightly older, simply because she was more careful with her footing. Pale blonde hair, just as stunning as her beautiful mother, wove down the steps, following her twin suspiciously. The two Kelvics were entertaining for the half-breed to watch, especially at such a young age. Surprisingly the woman had very little contact with Kelvics throughout her life, although common, she had not really known any. They behaved more like animals than humans, although she had thought them humans which took animal form, she was beginning to realize it might be the opposite. Here she saw a curious fox following a curious Okomo, not two children stirred at the smell of food and sound of one of their parents in the kitchen. She was about to crawl back into her bed to try and get some shut-eye when she watched the little Okomo jiggle the door open, almost at the same time as a loud knock sounded, as if some animal sense had told him something was there before she could find it herself. Or perhaps the house had told him. Neither would surprise Lani at this moment.

She was not terribly worried, perhaps not as much as one living with children should be, but it was enough to stir her from her room. Leathery Chaktawe feet finding their way down the stairs as well, not quite as loud as the Okomo, and yet not as silent as the fox.

”Woah there, big boy.” She announced her presence in common, crouching to scoop up the little boy and propping him on her hip, a secure hand on his waist, prepared in case he tried to wiggle out of her grasp. Out of habit Lani flipped her glossy black locks over her shoulder, away from the teeth of the boy who had taken to chewing on it since he had
first met her. ”Hungry, are you?” She asked him in Kontinese, tapping his nose with her finger. It was partially to capture his attention away from the stranger, but she used the brief touch to feel the rhythm of his aura and gauge his reaction to the stranger, and herself.

”Hello,” She settled a cool black gaze on the man that stood at the door. She was never entirely sure who Madeira knew or did not, but the half-Chaktawe had taken to trusting the house to know what was and was not allowed on its doorstep. Lani spoke up now, trying to make sure whoever was bustling about the kitchen would hear her when she muttered the following blasphemous words. ”Have you come for the meeting to talk about our Lord and Savior, Uldr of the Undead?” A mischievous grin tugged at the edges of her lips, and Lani tried not to look back into the open kitchen concept to see if her antics would be reciprocated or chastised.
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Postby Allister on June 13th, 2019, 1:31 am

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The yard was damp with a heavy dew that seemed out of place for the season. Something in the world was not right and it had been becoming more noticeable every season for what seemed like years. Water wasn’t as high as it was supposed to be- the longer legs of the docks were evidence of that as were the multiple rings of barnacles which got younger as they drew closer to the waves. Plants and animals of the wild were not in sync. Rabbits stared at him for long pauses before darting as if they weren’t sure whether or not that lone piece of clover was worth the risk of being eaten by a strange smelling predator. Birds migrated for a few weeks then came right back to where they could be chased by the scavenger. Lush gardens on the peaks were a mix of invasive weeds, dead patches and overgrown vines that didn’t require a lot of moisture to thrive. Allister heard and saw much but it was always Madeira who put the pieces together.

A bang followed by a series of curses caused the angular ears to twist in the direction of the manor. Goddess. Black eyes like silk drowned by ink swished from window to window until he saw the golden braid sail behind the thin neck of porcelain skin which dove down into a nightdress of pink. More than once, the bonded kelvic had removed that particular item and cast it aside in an act of service and devotion. The thought caused his jaw to slack and the long canine tongue to wag carelessly between the thick fangs which lined his mouth. Just as saliva pooled and threatened to drop upon the grass in its sharp and mostly dry state, a clomp resounded to announce the rigid posture which had overtaken the hyena.

The heavy mane bristled as other scents filled his nostrils. At first, it was the house and food but then the small lifeforms, a grazer and a fellow scavenger, triggered a lone twitch from his nostrils. The children were small and easily overpowered by so many other things but when they went into motion the half-sized bodies swirled the aromas like bees who pollinated an entire park. The stiffness of his pose went slack once more and a very dog-like grin fell upon his muzzle. Little Cravens brought Allister joy because they brought Madeira joy.

The former slave’s nose twitched again and this brought a ousing itch down the ridge of his spine between his pointed shoulder blades. The curr sat down and bent his leg then furiously attacked his own skin with his hind claws in an effort to provide relief. Halfway through the motion and only a few hairs from satisfying the urge, a wayward scent flooded the hyena. It was male, human and close.

The striped mane bristled for the half tick it took to bring his body up to all fours. In a bolt, he shot down the path towards the house so he could wind around the uniquely styled piece of architecture towards the front porch. The mane flattened and dusty clods of soil flew up in his wake. Muscles rippled as Allister pumped his limbs; stretch out- fold together- repeat. The squat length of his hind legs helped his rump stay low which seemed to create more spring when he extended his front legs out. The half lap took just shy of a chime and the dog came skittering on to the porch just as the knocker rapped twice.

The man was normal in size but had tanned skin and smelled of the wild; a vagabond, a drifter and a thief- no doubt. Madeira didn’t associate with the drudges of society and her job certainly didn’t lend itself to the wilderness types so this unfortunate soul was clearer a trespasser. The hyena didn’t miss a beat as he continued his stride with his maw left agape. Fire burned in his belly as thick slobber clung to his lips and flung in random directions from the charging mass of fur and pain.

The sound of the door opening only served to fuel the flames. Small fingers clutched the wood and the heavy odors of an okomo and his tiny vixen of a sister wafted out of Infinity Manor ahead of everything else. There was also the familiar smell of the only Stranger that the former slave would ever trust but it came too late to register that the guest might be here to see Lani. Allister was now blind to reason as his brokeness drew only horrendous images of what would happen if he did not end this visiting threat. With one last coiling of his body, he launched himself like a projectile from a trebuchet into the air at the man.

Clearly, he would see or hear his attacker so the man would have time to react. The appearance of any weapon would cause the kelvic to shift so that he could use his strength and hands to intercept a counter in that nature. Should the human react in a less tactical way such as evading into the house or down the stairs, Allister would remain in canine form so he could more easily acquire a second pounce. Ultimately, he just prayed to whoever was listening that he could pin the unwanted presence to the wood of the deck and snarl in his face with the sickening smile that he wore in both forms.
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Pain without love is meaningless
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Postby Jomi on June 17th, 2019, 8:28 pm

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The hens clucked loudly as the ghost's freezing mists invaded their hutch. Settling as a formless haze over the musty, straw lined shack and upsetting the brooding hens who made sure to scream their displeasure in the loudest, most irritating way possible. All except for one.

Rosie puffed up her lovely red feathers at the sudden chill but was otherwise unperturbed by the intruder. She didn't even kick up a fuss when the ghost reached underneath her and extracted a big glossy egg from the nest. Jomi liked to think the hen was as fond of him as he was of her. The affection starved ghost had taken to assigning human personality traits and thoughts to the otherwise unremarkable chicken. Even so far as having one sided conversations with the creature. If he was sure that no one was listening.

"Lets see what you've made for us today..." Jomi gathered the loose tendrils of soulmist from his body and concentrated them around the off white egg. Once the egg was fully supported in a cradle of soulmist he then activated those mists and used them to push up against the pull of gravity to bring the egg up level with his eyes.

After a tick of inspection he ghosts soulmist sagged around the edges. The level of activity and movement from within slowed as he experienced a kind of a full body pout.

The shell cradled in his mists was too light to be filled with anything but a yolk.

Jomi had been inspecting the eggs from his favourite hen daily hoping to snag one of her rare gem eggs before Madeira had a chance to find it. Normally the ghost was indifferent to the shiny rocks that his Master was so thrilled about. But now that Edith was back in his life the ghost was determined to take one of those shiny rocks without Madeira noticing. In order to present the offering to his bonded without anyone asking questions. But it seemed the hen was not as enthusiastic about this plan as the ghost. After several weeks of early morning visits the hen still hadn't produced a single stone.

"...It's alright we'll try again tomorrow." Jomi spoke reassuringly as he stroked the hens chest with a ribbon of mists.

But now that he had this perfectly ordinary egg, might as well put it to some use.

Jomi ushered Rosie from her hutch, stepping around Big Red, the specked rooster, who puffed up his chest and crowed indignantly at the brazen theft of his hen. Jomi closed his eyes and focused his mind on the errant wisps of soul mist that swirled around his form. He used his focus to control the loose threads and curl them back towards his core. The stone in his palm began to glow a deep red, adding more power to his materialization. Giving his form more substance and creating a body indistinguishable from that of a flesh and blood human. Scooping the hen up in his arms the ghost carried her from the run and in through the back door of the Manor. Plopping her down on the counter to peck at the crumbs of meals past as he presented the egg to Madeira still bent over the stove.

"I hope you didn't forget about Emma and myself," The ghost grumbled as he eyed up the sizzling, slightly charred garlic. "How about changing up your soulmist recipe this time?"

The commotion in the common area caught the ghosts attention. Thanks to the open floor plan the ghost had an unobstructed view of the front door. Lani stood at the entrance with a naked Moritz on her hip and a snowy fox dancing around her ankles, seemingly ecstatic about the stranger at the door.

And then there was Allister. Jomi saw the ugly, spotted, bristled furred creature launch himself over the porch. Jaws gaping and teeth barred, ready to tear into the random stranger that stood at the entranceway.

Jomi, even after years of practice, still lacked any real grace or finesse in his possessions. Instead relying on the hosts shock and trauma as leverage to crowd out there souls and pilot their bodies. He blinked across the room and entered the sandy haired mans body from the centre of his chest before jumping into his legs. The ghost absorbed his soulmist into the muscle fibres on his legs and wrapped himself in his skin, pulling away at the mans astral body urgently in an attempt to force him onto his knees and out of the way of the snapping jaws.

Regardless of wether the possession was successful or wether Allister's teeth found their mark, the ghost would exit his host and confront the Kelvic. Jomi's body burned in rage at Madeira's deranged bondmate. The hyena worshiped Madeira, but the insane, broken, reckless man was unworthy of such a high honour as bonding as far as the ghost was concerned.

"Idiot! The last thing we need is another eviscerated bloody corpse on the front lawn for everyone to see." The ghost jutted his finger at the small forest the circled the edge of the property. "If your going to kill him do it somewhere else."
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Postby Madeira Craven on June 19th, 2019, 2:02 am

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The onions and potatoes were merrily popping away in a pool of darkening butter and crispy garlic when the house announced their
visitor.

Someone comes.

"Who?"

A man, tough and lean, with sunshine in his hair. He carries a leather bag.

She was still ruminating on who that could be when Jomi bumbled his way into the kitchen carrying his prized chicken and a fresh egg. She still couldn't get over how inescapably real he looked, standing there with the greenish haze of dawn in his hair and the shadow across his jaw.

"I hope you didn't forget about Emma and myself," The ghost grumbled as he came up behind her, chilling her straight through the thin silk. "How about changing up your soulmist recipe this time?"

"Sure. But you can wait until after the people who need to eat have their food", she returned absently, throwing pinches of this and that spice into the pan while groping for her robe on the kitchen table behind her. The house made itself known hotly at that point, wordlessly drawing attention to the unfairness. "Yes, yes, you'll get dijed too." She flapped her sleeve as she pulled it on to dissipate the suddenly darkening smoke.

At that moment her children thundered down the stairs. It was Moritz, butt naked and traveling by bunny hops, being hotly pursued by his sister in her fox form. Behind them the long-legged Lani followed at a sleepier pace. When the anticipated knock sounded both children bundled their way to the door with single minded determination.

"Don't answer the door alone!" Madeira huffed hotly, utterly ignored, as the toddler jiggled the front door open. The ensuing reaction the visitor elicited from the many residents revealed more about each of them than any formal introduction would.

Moritz, serious and logical, announced the strangers presence to her with the simple and no doubt accurate qualifier of 'person'.

Amelie was mommy's good girl. A proper Craven, yet still a child. Her yipping was riddled with anxiety over the wrongdoing, but quickly changed to one of pure childish excitement.

Lani, wily trickster to the core, wasted no time in testing the visitor with a casual bit of blasphemy in the morning. Madeira flung a bit of half-cooked potato at her in holy retribution.

And then there was Allister.

She felt him before coming before she saw him, as her bond vibrated with something that felt a lot like rage. The spiritist calmly pushed away from the smoking stove and tied her silk robe closed. She wore like a nun: wrapped so tight nothing but her collarbone and shins were visible. Like this she tapped her way to the door, wielding a forcefully outward beatificness that she had used more than once to calm the rattled nerves of those who ran afoul of her bondmate.

As if loathed to get in her way, the second half of the double doors burst open at her approach, just in time to see a familiar figure viciously tackled by the most predictably unpredictable residents of the house.

"Zach!" Madeira's plastic composure melted away to a more genuine type of pleasure to see the hunter. Even if she had to see him flat on his back being threatened by both Allister and Jomi. Without losing that flush smile she breezed by Lani and the twins, smacked the ghost smartly across the bonce with the back of her imbued hand, and pulled the huge, snarling beast off by the scruff of the neck, completely untouched by the chaos.

"Welcome to Infinity Manor!" she gestured grandly across the property. The every leaf on the bushes by the front door curled up and whistled in welcome as the wind passed through them. "Let me introduce my family. This is Lani, my best friend from childhood. Those black eyes are a racial trait, she's not actually evil. You know the twins, of course. That's Jomi. He's dead and exactly as evil as he looks. And this is Allister, my bondmate and father of my children." She stood there, smiling, a skinny, well groomed doll of a woman in pink silk looking completely out of place holding tight to the hulking, drooling monster of a hyena. "Everyone, this is Zach Grasswind. I've hired him to gather my Malediction supplies. He's completely off limits", she added pointedly for Jomi, Allister's, and Lani's sake, all with different insinuations and for completely different reasons.

"You have something for me, right? Come in and join us, I'm just making breakfast." Completely sure he would follow, the Spiritist turned on her heel and marched back inside, where the house was doing its best to douse the stove to keep the horrendously burnt hash from catching fire.
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Better Homes and Hauntings

Postby Zach Grasswind on June 28th, 2019, 2:13 pm

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Behind the opulent front doors of the Infinity Manor, Zach could hear the sounds of footsteps. Small ones. They were moving at a rapid pace in the direction the hunter was stood, and he wondered which of Madeira’s children it might be. Ticks later, it swung open to reveal Moritz blinking up at him. The child didn’t recognise him, which was to be expected. He hadn’t seen the boy for a while, and the last time they had met the Kelvic had been much, much smaller.

The hunter smiled and considered Moritz’s question briefly. ”I would say, breakfast.” He recalled how his younger sister used to address people in much the same way when she had been small as if she were holding a constant conversation in her head, only speaking parts of it aloud. Another pair of footsteps pattered across the floor to catch up with Moritz, little animal yelps accompanying them. Zach’s smile widened as the ball of white fluff that was Amelie appeared next to her brother. The Kelvic girl’s excitement was palpable and Zach chuckled. ”Good morning little fox.”

Zach flicked his eyes up from the two children in time to meet the gaze of the woman that then approached. The Drykas blinked as his blue eyes met her pupil-less black ones. He had never seen anybody with eyes like hers before, and they unnerved him. However, she clearly lived in this house and the way she held Moritz told him that she was someone he could trust, or at the very least someone who would be able to help him locate Madeira.

The woman then spoke directly to him, and he rose an eyebrow in surprise. Zach opened his mouth to reply, then closed it again and considered the woman’s face. There was a hint of a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth which led Zach to believe she was playing him. Before he could formulate a proper response however, several things happened at the same time.

The Drykas had mere seconds of warning of what was to come next as the rapid footsteps of an approaching animal sounded from behind him. Zach turned to look, eyes falling on a creature of a kind he had never seen before. Large and with striped fur it appeared to be some sort of canine. The beast was running directly at him, and it was so unexpected that Zach froze, wide eyes fixed on its snarling mouth.

His mind was still processing what was happening when a force slammed itself into him. Zach gasped as though winded, a hand reaching up to tug at the shirt over his chest at the same time as his legs unwillingly bent, knees slamming into the floor of the porch. The creature’s pounce missed him by centimetres and almost as soon as it had hit the porch next to him, the hunter felt that force remove itself from his body and his legs were suddenly his again.

Zach scrambled away from the beast, still down on the porch floor, his back hitting into the doorframe. A person, or what appeared to be one, had appeared from nowhere and was reprimanding the canine. His eyes widened again as he caught the words it was saying, and just as Zach started to protest, to try to tell them why he was here, a familiar voice broke through the chaos.

“Zach!”
The hunter flicked his gaze up from where he was crouched to take in Madeira. She appeared to have not long woken, and her cheerful demeanour was a startling contrast to the scene she interrupted. She caught up the snarling creature without blinking and blithely welcomed the Drykas to her home. Zach pushed his way slowly to his feet, wary eyes never straying from the canine for too long. His gaze flicked to each person in turn as they were introduced. There was the dark eyed woman, Lani and the ghost, Jomi, who Zach managed to discern had somehow saved him from the jaws of the final person, the beast called Allister currently held in the arms of Madeira. Zach wondered how one such as he was the father of the two delightful and rambunctious children who were still peering through the doorway.

”I…I…yes I do.” Finally managing to find some words, Zach managed to answer Madeira’s question. Without thinking, he stepped after her, following the most familiar thing he had in the situation. He barely paid attention to the house itself, instead beelining for the kitchen she had entered, untying the pouch from his side as he went. He pulled the feathers from it, fingers running over their familiar feel and offering the hunter a little comfort. He took a moment to compose himself and then smiled at the woman, offering the feathers to her.

”I hope these are what you are looking for.” He eyed the stovetop, the smell of burning filling his nose. ”I don’t want to intrude on your uh, family mealtime...” The hunter collected a couple of packets of wrapped sweets out of his pouch for Moritz and Amelie, handing them directly to the children if they had followed into the kitchen. Lani and Jomi would receive polite nods of greeting, though he still eyed Allister warily. He hesitated momentarily before speaking, defaulting to politeness. ”It’s good to meet you all.” Zach would never have guessed that the composed and well-spoken Madeira would have a family quite as eccentric as this one, but then again families were usually full of surprises.
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Zach Grasswind
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Better Homes and Hauntings

Postby Moritz Craven on June 29th, 2019, 10:13 pm

To say that Moritz was overwhelmed was putting it mildly.

One moment he had been yelling to get his mothers attention, because some person was at the door.

Then just after he finished his yell, his sister was coming running up in her other form which stole his attention away from the new arrival. She seemed excited, though why for some other person he did not know.

A moment later he was pondering this as his unclad body was unceremoniously lifted off the ground with no particular warning let alone permission to do so.

He would have heard her sneaking up on him, if not for the other distractions. This Moritz knew. It was this other persons fault for not properly announcing herself until she was foisting him into the air, and in part due to the others all doing things at once while he tried to react to the first. Quite rude.

He would have ranted on this fact, if not for the sudden urgent pressure on his bladder twinned with his surprised lifting off the ground. He had not made his morning ablutions since rising, had not felt he needed to go, but now he did and he did not quite know how to not go now that the surge of distractions and surprise swept away the concentration he had not realized he was holding to not go.

He tried to order the person to put him down, but whether due to everything else going on or her not caring she did not properly respond to his small hands slapping at her arm or his yelled urgent "Down! Down!" In fact she seemed to clutch him harder, using another hand on his waist to keep him from getting down. Quite rude, since she had not yet even asked permission to carry him.

But now his unknown held concentration was gone, and like a dam breaking he was going. And gone.

The order was all confused in his head. Had his other parent come rushing in at the man, distracting everyone even further? Or had he called to be put down? Or had he done so at the same time? He was not sure, all that he knew was that they had all happened at some point, and he had not reacted swiftly enough, and now there was a warm wetness flowing down his front and along his leg and along the spot where his body was pressed against the woman who was holding him without asking by surprise.

And as liquids had a tendency to do, it was slowly making its way downward to the ground.

Before long though his mind strayed from the warm wetness, as the other person who was not a person who lived in the house - or one of them - appeared to stop his other parent by helping the new person. Or that was how it seemed to him, and he was there to see the right of what happened.

He was quite right of course, what was his other parent thinking, trying to tear into some person without permission or cause, and right at the front door?

A stern look on his face, Moritz glared over at his mother. "Mommy mean, hip Jo. Jo juss help-nen!"
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